Oct. 18, 2012

On Eve of Foreign Debate, Growing Pessimism about Arab Spring Aftermath

As next week’s third and final presidential debate on foreign policy approaches, a national survey by the Pew Research Center finds increasing public pessimism about developments in the Middle East and more support for tough policies to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and economic issues with China. However, there is no change in the […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 8: Domestic and Foreign Policy Views

Generations Divide on Some—Not All—Social Issues As discussed in Sections 1 and 4, different generations of Americans have starkly different views on some of the social changes occurring in the country today. That’s particularly the case when it comes to trends related to diversity, homosexuality, and secularism. While Millennials tend to take a more liberal […]

Oct. 7, 2011

Strong on Defense and Israel, Tough on China

The Tea Party has emerged as a political force on domestic issues, especially the national debt and the size and role of the federal government. Republican supporters of the Tea Party movement also have a distinct approach to national security and America’s role in the world. Tea Party Republicans favor an assertive foreign policy, are […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 9: Foreign Policy and National Security

While Americans hold disparate views on how the U.S. should pursue its military and foreign policy, these issues generally do not represent the deepest divides across typology groups. This stands in contrast to the findings of the previous political typology study in 2005, in which national security issues were among the most divisive – a […]

Jan. 13, 2011

Friend or Foe? How Americans See China

Jan. 12, 2011

Strengthen Ties with China, But Get Tough on Trade

As President Obama prepares to host Chinese President Hu Jintao next week, Americans increasingly see Asia as the region of the world that is most important to the United States. Nearly half (47%) say Asia is most important, compared with just 37% who say Europe, home to many of America’s closest traditional allies. Views […]

Dec. 3, 2009

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Section 4: U.S. Allies and Country Favorability

Opinions among members of the Council on Foreign Relations about which U.S. allies and partners will be more important in the future – and those that will be less important – have changed dramatically since the last America’s Place in the World survey in 2005. Fully 58% now say that China will be a more […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 6: Foreign Policy and Global Engagement

Despite the economic crisis, there is no indication that isolationist sentiment has increased among the public. An overwhelming proportion of Americans believe the United States should be active in world affairs. Support for free trade agreements has increased over the past year, and opinions about immigration are generally stable. Fully 90% agree that “it’s best […]

Sep. 24, 2008

Section 4: Global Threats and Security Concerns

Seven years after the 9/11 attacks, terrorism is the public’s top international concern. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) say that Islamic extremist groups like al Qaeda represent a major threat to the well-being of the United States. Fewer regard the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, tensions between Russia and its neighbors, or Pakistan’s […]

Nov. 17, 2005

Opinion Leaders Turn Cautious, Public Looks Homeward

Introduction and Summary Preoccupied with war abroad and growing problems at home, U.S. opinion leaders and the general public are taking a decidedly cautious view of America’s place in the world. Over the past four years, opinion leaders have become less supportive of the United States playing a “first among equals” role among the world’s […]

Nov. 17, 2005

II. Global Policy Goals and Threats

The existential threats posed by terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction rate as leading long-term U.S. policy concerns, in the view of both opinion leaders and the public. But there also is a widely shared belief that decreasing the nation’s dependence on imported energy should be a major policy objective. Fully 87% […]

Aug. 18, 2004

Part Six: Other Issues – Mideast, China, Trade

Middle East Policies A growing number of Americans believe the United States is not doing enough to bring about a peace settlement between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Current opinion is now nearly evenly divided, with 46% saying the U.S. is doing all it can, and 42% saying it is not. In April 2002 a […]

Feb. 21, 2002

Other Important Findings

Business Views Change Little Interest in the Enron case has been steadily increasing over the past two months, outpacing other news stories such as the Winter Olympics and the congressional debate over the budget and taxes. Currently, 28% say they are following the investigation into the Enron bankruptcy very closely, up from 19% in mid-January, […]

Dec. 19, 2001

How the World Has Changed

Despite their deep differences over the causes and consequences of the terror attacks, opinion leaders in every region agree that Sept. 11 marked the beginning of a new chapter in world history. About eight-in-ten (78%) U.S. respondents, and virtually the same number elsewhere, believe that the terrorist attacks and subsequent conflict opened a new era. […]

Jun. 11, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Partisan Gap on Missile Defense Opinions on missile defense have remained fairly consistent as the debate has heated up over the past few months. The 51%-38% margin of support for the idea is similar to the results of a survey in February, when a comparable question was asked. In the current poll, nearly one-in-three Americans […]

Jun. 11, 2001

Commentary by Morton H. Halperin, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

Commentary by Morton H. Halperin, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations Moderate Public Views Give Officials Great Latitude Policy analysts and politicians generally believe that elections are not won or lost on foreign policy issues any more. Interest groups of one kind or another ­- economic, ethnic, ideological -­ may have strong feelings on particular […]

Jun. 11, 2001

Modest Support for Missile Defense, No Panic on China

Introduction and Summary As George W. Bush makes his first overseas trip as president, he has the backing of the American public on a pair of high-profile security and foreign policy issues. The public favors his call for developing a national missile defense system and feels he is taking the right tack in handling relations […]

May. 11, 2000

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Bush Bounces Back In the presidential race, key voting groups continue to shift back and forth between Bush and Gore, as the public is clearly having difficulty making up its mind about this contest. Some of the gains Gore made in the immediate aftermath of the primary season have since been reversed. Senior citizens rallied […]

Mar. 29, 2000

A Year Later, More Doubts About Kosovo Mission

Introduction and Summary A year after the United States launched military operations in the Balkans, the public has more doubts about the efforts of the U.S. and its NATO allies to bring peace to Kosovo. Americans are also wary of possible military action against China, with a solid majority opposed to using force to defend […]